Handling Keyboard Shortcuts in JavaScript

Despite the many JavaScript libraries that are available today, I cannot find one that makes it easy to add keyboard shortcuts(or accelerators) to your javascript app. This is because keyboard shortcuts where only used in JavaScript games - no serious web application used keyboard shortcuts to navigate around its interface. But google apps like Google Reader and Gmail changed that. So, I have created a function to make adding shortcuts to your application much easier.

Old Version

This is the documentation for the old version of this script - a newer version is available.


Press any of the following key combinations...

Shift+F1 - Shows alert("Help Me!");
Ctrl+S - Shows alert("Saved!");
Right Key - Shows alert("Right");

Try it out...

Live Evaluation


First Argument : The Shortcut Key Combination - String
The shortcut key combination should be specified in this format ... Modifier[+Modifier..]+Key. More about this in the Supported Keys section.
Second Argument : Function to be called - Function
Specify the function here. This function will be called if the shortcut key is pressed. The event variable will be passed to it.
Third Argument[OPTIONAL] : Options - Associative Array
This argument must be an associative array with any of these three options...
type - String
The event type - can be 'keydown','keyup','keypress'. Default: 'keydown'
target - DOM Node
The element that should be watched for the keyboard event. Default : document
propagate - Boolean
Allow the event to propagate? Default : false

Example Code

shortcut("Ctrl+B",function() {
	alert("The bookmarks of your browser will show up after this alert...");

Supported Keys

The shortcut keys should be specified in this format ...




The valid modifiers are

You can specify a sequence without a modifier as well - like this...

shortcut("X",function() {

The valid Keys are...

These keys are case insensitive - so don't worry about using the correct case.

This library is in beta - so expect some problems. Suggestions are welcome.


Download the shortcuts.js file.

It has just one function - you can move it to some other JS file in your project.


BSD License

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